Information-Seeking Strategies, Uncertainty, and Computer-Mediated Communication: Toward a Conceptual Model

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This article argues that existing theory and research on computer-mediated communication (CMC) provide a limited view of information-seeking behavior and proposes a conceptual model for its examination via CMC and new media. Although most CMC environments eliminate or severely reduce nonverbal and contextual information available to address uncertainty, form impressions, and develop relationships, such environments offer alternative mechanisms for acquiring social information about others. The article discusses strategies for seeking social information and identifies factors influencing their selection from alternatives, incorporating them into a conceptual model. Finally, 2 promising approaches for examining the effects and effectiveness of social information seeking in CMC are described, with an emphasis on how the proposed conceptual model can aid in the development of each.

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Human Communication Research, v. 28, issue 2, p. 213-228